About

I am a Hong Kong/Vietnamese adoptee. I was born in Hong Kong. I was given up for adoption by my birth mother who was a Vietnamese Refugee boat person that had fled to Hong Kong after the Vietnam War. I was fostered by a British family that were living in Hong Kong from 5months old to 12months old in which I was then adopted by my parents who were also British and living and working in Hong Kong. My younger sister was also adopted but she is Chinese. I grow up in Hong Kong until I was 16yrs old before my family moved the the UK.

I have been a freelance artist since finishing my BA in Photography and Masters in Media Arts in 2005. Throughout my practice I have chosen to explore my experiences of being a transracial adoptee and to challenge people’s preconceptions about adoption. My work also touches on themes of family, race & multiculturalism. While photography, film & performance are predominate in my work, i employ various materials and means to suit my ideas & projects. You can see much more of my adoption & commercial work on my main website www.jessica-emmett.com.

Before this project i rarely thought about my foster family and their part in my adoption story. As time has gone on i have been more and more curious about them as i have less information about them then I do my birth family. Until 2010 i also believed that i had been fostered by them from birth, but it turns out that i was kept in a health centre until 5 months, so there is now a new little gap i need to fill. My foster family gave me 3 things, my first & middle names (Jessica Jane or JJ for short), a white handmade sock bunny (which in on the [HOME] page)  and a set of photos of my at various ages (you can see them all below). The sad part is my foster family do not feature in any of the photos that were given to us.

Over the years I have asked my parents about my foster family as they meet them. They say that it was so long ago they remember very little about them, only that they were a family, mum, dad and possibility 3 biological kids. They say it was possible a son that picked my names. They said it was also possible that my foster family came or lived in Manchester, which is where I lived for 8 years and where the Chinese Arts Centre is based. My parents also told me originally that my foster family’s last name might have been Corby, but they recently said it may have been where they were from, so there is  still a large question mark. My parents do know that they had foster at least two kids in the past. as far as I can tell being fostered was more rare in Hong Kong over an orphanage.

UPDATE: In 2011 I found my foster family! You can read more about it on my [Foster Family] blog page on my main site.

I am currently in the process of roots tracing for my bit family, but i also hope that my foster family be part of my search.

So i decided to do a project about what i know about my fostering experiences. You can see what how I developed my project on the [RESIDENCY] page.